The Great Chase

Last weekend I was on a strange quest to capture a great photo of this new Viking River Cruise ship that docked in Minnesota for the first time. It’s a new 350 passenger vessel that will sail between St. Paul and New Orleans, giving folks a taste of life on the Mighty Mississippi.

Why did I care? I’m not sure, but I will tell you that I’ve become drawn to chasing down interesting ships, trains, planes, blimps, and other vehicles that pass through our area. I even caught a giant rubber duck a few years ago.

The challenge in capturing good photos of these things is that they are MOVING from place-to-place. It’s not like going to take some snaps of a waterfall, lighthouse, or old church.

You have to HUNT down and catch these shots by figuring out which back road, quiet dock, or country airport they will be at. Each of the shots above have great stories behind getting them.

Like anything, the CHASE is where the excitement of this adventure lies.

On Labor Day weekend, my photo quest to catch that Viking riverboat took me 3 trips totaling 8 hours of drive time. Using both my Jeep & sports car, I ripped around a 75 mile area tracking the slow-moving (just 4 knots on average) boat. I used maritime GPS to track it and had my drone in hand to get a good snap when I caught up with it in Red Wing MN.

I “just missed it” a few times, when I miscalculated its location or how long it would take me to get to a good vantage spot. I tracked it down between other holiday weekend activities, so I would lose it and have to catch up again.

In the end, I think the snaps I took turned out pretty well. My bucket list photo adventure is to get some good pictures of the Northern Lights / aurora borealis, which have been strong lately.

Do have any interest in photo adventures like these?

Image Credits: (c) all MrFireStation.com

7 thoughts on “The Great Chase

    1. That’s my bucket list ‘get’, so nothing yet. I’ve been watching posts in a Facebook Group from the Twin Cities for some time. There were some spectacular sightings last weekend, but nothing when I went out myself on Saturday night. I’ve only seen them 3x in my life.

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      1. I’ve only seen them in pictures – never heard of anyone seeing them in Virginia! Haha
        Good luck in your mission and please post if you get some good photos.

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      2. Even in Minnesota, north of the 45th parallel they are unusual to see. I saw them “by accident” twice in the 1980s and once in 2004. If you diligently hunt for them, you’d probably have a good shot at catching them in northern MN every year or two.

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  1. We started receiving Viking cruise ships in Alpena, MI this summer as part of their Great Lakes tours. And the 60-foot tall rubber ducky found its way here, as well, although I was disappointed to learn that it was trucked in, and they never actually floated it in the water.

    Still, fun to see!

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah – I know those Viking ships make a lot of Great Lakes stops. We saw one at Mackinac Island, too. Did you see the cruise that goes 72 days from Duluth to Antarctica? $50K for a tiny cabin!

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